Telecom operator Idea Cellular today reported a marginal decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 764.21 crore for the quarter of 2015-16.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 767.06 crore for the same period a year ago.
The net sales of the company increased by 12.37 per cent to Rs 9,009.69 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 8,017.47 crore in corresponding period of 2014-15.
A sharp 75.8 per cent growth in mobile data (2G, 3G, 4G) and 16.7 per cent expansion in voice minutes drove the revenue growth in the quarter, Idea Cellular said in a statement.
However, decline in ‘voice realised rate’ at 10.6 per cent (including impact of interconnect usage charge regulation) and mobile data realised rate at 17.2 per cent depressed overall “gross revenue” growth, it added.
During the quarter, Idea launched 3G service on its own network in 13 circles. It also launched its 4G services in four south Indian telecom service areas.
“The data ARPU (average revenue per user) of a 3G Data customer is at a healthy level of Rs 196 during third quarter of FY 2016, in addition to customer spend on Voice and Non data value added services,” the statement said.
“The capex spend in the third quarter of financial year 2016 of Rs 23,135 million was financed by cash profit of Rs 23,493 million for the quarter,” the statement said.
The company’s net debt increased by more than three-fold to Rs 37,690 crore from Rs 11,089.1 crore it reported at the end of corresponding quarter a year ago.
“The net debt now at Rs 376.9 billion, includes almost all deferred payment liability from past spectrum auctions, including March 2015 auction,” the statement said.
The rise in debt also led to increase in finance cost of the company to Rs 346.51 crore in the third quarter from Rs 204.05 crore during the period.
The net debt to EBIDTA ratio of the company also increased significantly to 3.30 from 1.12 during period under review.
The company said that its nine month revenue on year-on- year basis was also impacted by regulation issued by Trai on roaming charges and lowering mobile interconnection rates.
“TRAI regulated Mobile incoming IUC charge settlement rate from earlier 20 paise to 14 paise per minute effective from March 1, 2015, lowering of cap for national roaming call & SMS charges effective from May 1, 2015” impacted the revenue, the statement said.
Also, the company witnessed intense pressure on mobile data realised rate, as wireless broadband consumer demand growth is slower than increased supply from operators expanding 3G and 4G footprints.
The net mobile data customer base of Idea remained flat at 41.4 million compared to 41.3 million in previous quarter as company said that it tightened its data subscriber reporting.
Over the last one year, the 3G data subscriber base for the company has increased by 8.2 million to 21.2 million, it said.
The company reported to have total subscriber base of 182 million at the end of reported quarter.
Shares of Idea Cellular closed at Rs 113.90, down by 3.02 per cent, compared to its previous at BSE today.